Monday, 12 March 2012

Crazy Stupid Love Review

It seems that, lately, Hollywood is trying to break the mold when it comes to romantic comedies.  With Crazy Stupid Love they appear to be following that.  As this movie starts I thought it was going to be a lot like Hitch: Steve Carell gets Ryan Gosling to help him with the ladies and Gosling learns the valuable lessons in the process.  And, in a way, it is a lot like Hitch.  But while that was really the only level of Hitch, Crazy Stupid Love takes that premise and builds on it quite a bit.

Basically, everyone is in love with everyone else.  At least that's what it felt like for a lot of the film.  There are times, especially at the beginning, where you think that it feels like a huge ripoff of Love, Actually.  In the beginning, there seems to be no real reason for some of the characters to be there.  But this isn't really a story where multiple stories are followed and then some of them are loosely brought together (something Love, Actually did to near perfection).  They tried to make it an ensemble romantic comedy and overall, they succeeded.  But I think it would have been more effective if they had focused on Carell's character development or developed the others more.  They leaned towards Carell too much to not go all the way to it.  In Crazy Stupid Love, everything eventually comes around and it is actually all tied up quite nicely.  In fact, there are times when it seems a bit too convenient that things are happening the way they are.  But it's a romantic comedy and I can forgive a lot of that stuff in the genre.

All around, the acting is decent.  Carell went more towards his role in Little Miss Sunshine or Date Night than anything goofy.  And this is when I think he is actually at his best.  The man has some very decent range.  The rest of the cast is nothing to write home about but isn't bad either.  It was pretty much what I would expect from people like Ryan Gosling, John Carroll Lynch, Kevin Bacon and Julianne Moore.  The only one that I thought was really out of place was Marissa Tomei.  She appeared to be trying to steal her scenes and her over the top character didn't fit in with the rest of the understated feel of the movie at all.

Ultimately, I have to judge a romantic comedy on two criteria.  First, did it make me laugh?  It is a comedy after all so it needs to do that.  Second, did it make me feel good at the end?  You want to come away from a romantic comedy feeling glad that you watched it.  The answer on both fronts is "yes."  It wasn't anything to blow me away on either front but it did do both.  See it.  It isn't groundbreaking or cream of the crop by any means but it is a nice diversion.

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